Indian Economy in Colonialisation Period MCQs and Answers

1. Indian Economy under British rule was:

a. Developed economy

b. Developing economy

c. Underdevloped economy

d. Growing economy

Answer: c

Explanation: Under British rule, India’s share of the world economy declined from 24.4% in 1700 down to 4.2% in 1950. India’s GDP (PPP) per capita was stagnant during the Mughal Empire and began to decline prior to the onset of British rule. In other words, Britain’s industrial development directly led to the underdevelopment of India.


2. Most of India’s population during British rule was dependent on which sector for a living?

a. Primary sector

b. Secondary sector

c. Tertiary sector

d. Nearly equally in all the above sectors

Answer: a

Explanation: Most of India’s population during British rule was dependent on Primary sector for a living. 75% of the Indian population was earning a livelihood from agriculture. Despite being a primary source of income for a major population, this sector faced a decline under the British rule.


3. Which factor caused low productivity in agriculture?

a. System of land settlement

b. Low level of technology

c. Lack of investment

d. All the above

Answer: d

Explanation: Under British rule, irrigation systems and canals were not developed as they were dependent on monsoon rains. The poor level of agricultural productivity can be attributed to low technology, a lack of irrigation facilities, and inadequate fertilizer use. The other factor caused low productivity in agriculture are system of land settlement and the lack of investment also.


4. British rulers policy towards industrialization in India was to make India mainly:

a. Importer of primary products from Britain and exporter of finished products to Britain

b. Importer of finished products from Britain and exporter of primary products to Britain

c. Exporter of both primary products and finished products

d. Importer of both primary products and finished products

Answer: b

Explanation: British rulers policy towards industrialization in India was to make India mainly importer of finished products from Britain and exporter of primary products to Britain. As a result of the heavy tariffs, the Indian exports became costlier and its demand in the international market fell drastically that led to the collapse of Indian handicrafts industries. Simultaneously, the demand for the handicrafts products also fell in the domestic markets due to stiff competition from the machine made textiles of Britain. As a result, the domestic industries lacked investment and growth initiatives.


5. One of the following was high during the British rule over India:

a. Literacy rate

b. Female literacy rate

c. Infant mortality rate

d. Life expectancy

Answer: c

Explanation: The infanct moratlity rate during the British rule in India was 218 per thousand live births. Lack of adequate public health facilities, the occurrence of frequent natural calamities, and famine resulted in widespread poverty and high infant mortality rate.


6. The occupational structure of India during the British rule revealed that the Indian economy was:

a. Underdeveloped

b. Developed

c. Stagnant

d. Underdeveloped and stagnant both

Answer: d

Explanation: The occupational structure of India during the British rule revealed that the Indian economy was underdeveloped and stagnant. The agricultural sector valued for the highest share of the workforce, which normally prevailed at a high of 70–75%, while the manufacturing and service sectors estimated for only 10 and 15-20% sequentially. Another outstanding perspective was the growing geographical variation.


7. Whose estimate of national income was considered very significant?

a. Debadhai Naroji

b. William Digby

c. RC Desai

d. VKRV Rao

Answer: d

Explanation: Dadabhai Naoroji, William Digby, Findlay Shirras, V.K.R.V. Rao and R.C. Desai are the economists who estimated India’s national income and per capita income during the colonial period. Among these estimations, Rao’s estimates were considered most significant.


8. What percent of India’s population was dependent on agriculture on the eve of independence?

a. 75%

b. 50%

c. 85%

d. 65%

Answer: a

Explanation: The Indian economy was an agro-based economy on the eve of independence. Almost 75% of the Indian population was earning a livelihood from agriculture. Despite being a primary source of income for a major population, this sector faced a decline under the British rule.


9. Commercialisaton of agriculture during British rule led to:

a. More prodcution of food crops

b. Improvement in the economic condition of farmers

c. More production of cash crops used by Britishers as raw material

d. Thea aggregate area under cultivation expanded

Answer: c

Explanation: Commercialization of Indian agriculture resulted in reduced area under cultivation of food crops due to the substitution of commercial non-food grains in place of food grains. Between 1893-94 to 1945-46, the production of commercial crops increased by 85 percent and that of food crops fell by 7 percent.


10. Which one of the following statements does not characterise the condition of Indian Agricultural condition on the eve of independence?

a. Agricultural sector was experiencing stagnation

b. Aggregate area under cultivation was contracting

c. Agricultural productivity becam low in absolute terms

d. Cash crops were more produced

Answer: b

Explanation: Aggregate area under cultivation was contracting was not a characterise the condition of Indian Agricultural condition on the eve of independence. At the time of independence, old and outdated methods of farming were used in the agriculture sector. There was insufficient use of fertilisers and other machines. Agriculture was excessively dependent upon rainfall. Good rainfall implied good output, while poor rainfall implied poor output.


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